Food, Glorious food! (…and running)

Food, glorious food. Running and nutrition. Nutrition and running. It all goes hand in hand.  Whether you are running for fitness or running for competition, food is one of the most important aspects of training. Too much food and you’re not going to lose any weight or you’re going to feel sluggish when the gun goes off. Not enough and you’re not going to be able to maintain enough energy to carry on with a fitness regime or even make it to the finish line.

With this in mind I thought I would share with you my usual diet for the week. It’s not flashy, it’s not expensive and it’s not too varied but it works for me!

What I have outlined below is my usual diet but I have been known to mix it up with different healthy lunches or dinners. Also, I am human and I’m not an elite athlete so I have been known to veer well off the healthy eating course during busy lunch periods when I’m out and about – thankfully this is a rarity though as I find that junk food really doesn’t fill me up or seem to provide the energy my body requires to not only get through my workouts but through my day too!

BREAKFAST:

200ml Soya milk or Almond milk

50/100g Dried oats

Handful of pumpkin seeds

Handful of Dried cranberries and Goji berries

A few raisins

OR

  1. Scrambled egg (2x Medium size free range eggs) beaten together with 100ml soya milk, Black pepper and pinch of sea salt.
  2. Pour into shallow frying pan and beat on high heat until eggs are scrambled together.
  3. Add a handful of raw spinach and put lid on pan.
  4. Remove from heat and leave lid on for 2 minutes.

Add to toasted Rye Bread or wholemeal pitta bread with either soya spread or homous.

LUNCH:

1 baked sweet potato with beans (and some fresh coriander)

OR

Tinned Sardines in Olive Oil or Tinned Pilchards in Tomato Sauce on toasted rye/wholemeal bread.

OR

Miso Soup (soya bean & seaweed) and an apple or orange.

OR

Left overs from Dinner the night before.

DINNER:

100g wholegrain basmati rice OR 100g quinoa OR 100g bulgur wheat (steamed) with cabbage, broccoli, garlic and mushrooms added towards the end of the steaming process. I generally add a good sprinkling of sesame seeds too. On occasion I also add chickpeas, haricot beans or adzuki beans.

Usually served with a piece of chicken breast or thigh (oven cooked or grilled), this can be substituted with a piece of lamb, pork or fish occasionally.

Alternatively, I cut up beef or lamb heart, lamb or chicken liver or a pig’s kidney and add to the rice/quinoa/bulgur wheat while it is steaming instead of having chicken, lamb, pork or fish.

OR

75g wholewheat pasta (boiled) with a side of steamed broccoli and a salad (usually rocket, spinach, lamb’s lettuce and tomato with balsamic vinegar and sesame or pumpkin seeds). I often add pesto to the pasta for flavour but I also used tinned chopped tomatoes with a sprinkling of black pepper and balsamic vinegar.

This meal is usually eaten with chicken breast or thigh or with no meat.

FLUIDS:

I will often drink between 1.5 and 2 litres of water per day.

I do my best to avoid carbonated beverages such as Cola or other sweetened, tinned beverages.

I try to drink less than 3 cups of black coffee over the course of a day and usually these will all be before lunch. I use 1tsp of brown Demerara sugar to sweeten.

I drink around 3 cups of unsweetened green tea per day from lunch time until bed time.

I can take it or leave it when it comes to alcohol and usually limit myself to 250-500ml of red wine over the course of a weekend (Friday night to Sunday night).

SNACKS:

Mars bars are my kryptonite! I try not to eat them too often but generally I find I’ll eat one every other day.

If I’m up later than usual then I may have a piece of rye or wholemeal toast with peanut butter and/or blueberry jam.

I try not to eat between meals but if I’m hungry I tend to listen to my body and have a banana, apple or orange to stave off hunger pangs (and, as mentioned, the occasional Mars bar). If I’m very hungry then I’ll mix up a soya smoothie:

The ‘26.2 & Beyond’ Organic, vegan smoothie:
2x banana
1x clementine
Small handful dried cranberries

Small handful dried cherries
3/4 pint of unsweetened almond milk.

Chuck in blender…press go. Drink. Enjoy.

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